Pro-Assad hackers infiltrate The Associated Press, cause chaos

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The fake news of explosions at the White House, which was recently tweeted from The Associated Press’ Twitter account, appears to be “the latest and most conspicuous cyber-attack” by the pro-Assad cyber army, The Telegraph reported on Wednesday.

Last week, pro-Assad hackers infiltrated The Associated Press’ official twitter account and tweeted a fake alert that read: “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.”

The tweet caused chaos on the U.S. stock exchange, briefly wiping out $136.5 billion and leaving AP’s Twitter feeds suspended for a short period of time.

More hacking incidents were reported by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) last week. Several accounts were targeted, including CBS’s Twitter page, the 60 Minutes TV show, NPR Radio and FIFA.

In March, the BBC’s weather feed was attacked and bogus tweets were released regarding western support for Syrian opposition fighters.

Both the BBC and The Associated Press say “the SEA used fairly simple but well executed ‘phishing’ attacks via emails which encourage recipients to click on a link in order to access their password,” the Telegraph reported.

On its official webpage, available in both Arabic and English, the SEA asks supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stand up against the “fabrication” of events happening on ground in the war-torn country.

“Contribute with us in supporting the cause of the Syrian Arab people by armaments, with science and knowledge, against the campaigns led by the Arab media and Western media on our Republic by broadcasting fabricated news about what is happening in Syria,” says the message written on the SEA’s main webpage.

“We are a group of enthusiastic Syrian youths who could not stay passive towards the massive distortion of facts about the recent uprising in Syria, and this distortion is carried out by many Facebook pages that deliberately work to spread hatred and sectarian intolerance between the peoples of Syria to fuel the uprising,” a mission statement on the group’s website adds.

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